Saturday 24 August 2019

O'Neill facing keeper crisis after Given blow

Shay Given
Shay Given
Daniel McDonnell

Daniel McDonnell

The news that Shay Given is likely to miss the Euro 2016 play-off with Bosnia cast a shadow over Martin O'Neill's weekend.

In the words of Stoke boss Mark Hughes, the knee Given injured against Germany 'blew up' again after training last week.

"It looks like he might have to have a procedure to deal with it," said Hughes. "It's probably what will happen. He won't be available for that (play-off). I would be very surprised."

That puts West Ham stand-in Darren Randolph in pole position to start against Bosnia.

Another option, Rob Elliot, has picked up a thigh strain which could curtail his run in the Newcastle side at Newcastle.

Keiren Westwood is playing regularly at Sheffield Wednesday but is carrying an ankle injury, while David Forde is still out of favour at Millwall.

O'Neill has central defensive issues with Marc Wilson dropped by Stoke and John O'Shea's hamstring tweak ruling him out of Sunderland's loss at Everton. On the plus side, Seamus Coleman and James McCarthy both made a positive contribution to that game.

Harry Arter impressed on his Premier League bow for Bournemouth and, in the Championship, Richard Keogh scored for Derby.

Bosnian stars Miralem Pjanic and Edin Dzeko had a weekend to forget. Pjanic was sent off in Roma's loss at Inter, while Dzeko was subbed after extending his barren spell to eight games.

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